Three Things to Consider Before Buying a First Aid Kit

Administering first aid is never pleasant but having the right tools and supplies nearby can make injuries bearable.

First aid equipment
It’s never a bad idea to own multiple first-aid kits so you can keep large cases at home or in your vehicle and small cases in backpacks or gear bags.Pexels/StevePB

There are two ways to approach purchasing a first aid kit: Do you want one to stash in your home and vehicle, so you’ll have everything you’ll need to deal with scrapes, bruises, and other minor issues? Or do you plan to pack the first aid kit along with you and your family as you hike, camp, and adventure to playgrounds and parks? So, when it comes to first aid kits, read the fine print! Most commercial first aid kits include a detailed list of what’s inside, so you’ll know what you’re buying. Some kits are better suited for storing in a closet and using for everyday scrapes and bruises around the house. Others are more suited to outdoor trips, hikes in the woods, or weekends at the lake or coast, and it’s always a good idea to add a few specialty items to a first aid kit that might be specific to your family—poison ivy cream, for example, or antihistamines. Here are three other things to think about when buying a first aid kit.

First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit
This product includes educational cards on how to use the included items.First Aid Only

The great advantage of a first aid kit is the wide range of items included, but so much variety can be overwhelming. Look for kits that are well organized, with multiple pockets, see-through panels, and other ways to group items into categories—like scrapes and cuts, sprains, antiseptics, and the like.

Be Smart Get Prepared 100Piece First Aid Kit, Clean, Treat & Protect Most Injuries With The Kit that is great for Any Home, Office, Vehicle, Camping & Sports. 0.71 Lb
This assortment comes in a hard-sided case for storing in a vehicle.Be Smart Get Prepared

Many first aid kits also include basic survival items, like glow sticks for lighting up a trail or a compass for navigating when lost. There’s nothing wrong with going double duty, but make sure you’re getting quality items, and that the manufacturer isn’t just padding the numbers with cheap items.

Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Kit (120 Piece) + Bonus 32-Piece Mini First Aid Kit: Compact, Lightweight for Emergencies at Home, Outdoors, Car, Camping, Workplace, Hiking & Survival
This product includes a separate, smaller case for grab-and-go situations.Swiss Safe

A first aid kit is only helpful if it’s handy, so think about how large it is and how bulky it will be to pack along on day hikes, camping trips, or simple jaunts to a local playground. A small first aid kit might be more likely to find its way into your daypack. One great idea is to customize a smaller first aid kit with items you’re more likely to use—if you have kids, for example, you could remove the eye patch and add in more bandages and ointments for playground scrapes.

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